Jamaican among 41 arrested in USA 'targeted enforcement operations'

Joy Montgomery
February 16, 2017

An official with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, in southern California, David Marin, called the actions routine "surge operations" that target "priority cases", in other words, people in this country illegally who have criminal convictions. The arrests were carried out in the Austin area by agents assigned to the San Antonio Enforcement Removal Operations (ERO) office. The presumable reason: because ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan does not want to answer questions about the immigration raids last week in which more than 680 people were arrested. The Mexican Consulate said a total of 44 Mexican citizens were arrested in the Austin area on February 9 and 10 - several times the average number - but not all of those arrests are part of the targeted ICE enforcement, called "Operation Cross Check".

Kelly said the "criminal aliens" committed crimes including, but not limited to, homicide, drug trafficking, sexual crimes, assault, DUI and weapons offenses.

ICE says a total of 41 persons were arrested across New York City in the past week in what it describes as targeted enforcement operations aimed at immigration fugitives, criminal aliens and persons who illegally re-enter the US.

Of the more than 750,000 people who have been granted deferred action status since 2012, about 1,500 have had it revoked because of criminal convictions or gang affiliations.

In addition to the 127 that ICE said had prior criminal convictions, authorities said 29 had been previously deported from the country and another 17 had been issued orders to be deported.

The operation took place from February 6-10 in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia.

The Chicago Police Department is not one of the 38 law enforcement agencies that partners with ICE on immigration enforcement.

USA immigration officials arrested an MS-13 gang member, a cocaine trafficker, and a child molester during a series of raids in at least six states last week.

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"Last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched a series of targeted enforcement operations across the country", Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, said in a statement. Apparently, the series of raids that were launched marked the first sweeping enforcement of President Trump's January 25 order to crack down on the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally.

Gail Montenegro, a spokeswoman for customs enforcement, called the reports "false, risky and irresponsible", adding that the agency "does not conduct sweeps, checkpoints or raids that target aliens indiscriminately".

She said the operation was conducted "to apprehend deportable foreign nationals".

Immigration advocates and the White House both suggested the arrests were President Donald Trump's first salvo in what he has promised will be a stepped up campaign to find and deport criminal immigrants and others living in the USA illegally. But it's also been proven effective at spreading misinformation, which now includes false warnings about immigration stings.

He wrote that the targeted effort ended in the arrest of 680 immigrant fugitives, including criminals and gang members, under a federal deportation order.

Map and table detailing the 20 USA cities with the most numbers of undocumented immigrants.

Members of Congress have been asking whether the raids are the result of a new executive order signed by President Donald Trump.

"I said at the beginning".

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